Kim Kimble Gives Advice on Releasing a Hair Product Line
There are names in the beauty industry that need absolutely no introduction. Kim Kimble is without a doubt one of those names. Over the past three decades, Kim has been able to achieve a level of success that many professionals only dream about. Kim has worked with Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, Halle Berry, and Shakira—just to name a few celebrities who’ve sat in her chair. The exclusive Los Angeles, California based salon that she owns and operates is aptly named the Kim Kimble Hair Studio. And even during COVID-19, it’s still the talk of the town. But today, September 11th, she’s taking another major step in her career. Kim is releasing a new line of hair care products that are exclusively available via Sally Beauty. And Kim created these products to help women of color successfully master at-home hair care during quarantine. If you’re releasing your own product line or simply want to hear from the uncrowned queen in the world of hairstyling and hair care, keep reading to learn more about the journey that Kim took as she managed her own salon, provided styling services to A-list clients, and created a new line of hair care products that are already in high demand. https://www.instagram.com/p/CE5rkf_BRc8/
Mixing Passion with NecessityPart of the reason Kim has accomplished so much in this industry is because of the passion she has for beauty and wellness. Like most good stories, it all started when she was a child. At age eight, Kim watched her grandmother style hair for women in the neighborhood. What many people don’t know is that her grandmother created organic hair care products with natural ingredients to protect and strengthen textured hair types. “My grandmother was into hair nutrition, she was into using natural things. And so, eventually I started playing around with at-home things, you know concoctions like she did. And I really enjoyed doing that,” she said. Kim added that her grandmother and mother both worked as hairdressers. Eventually, they encouraged her to express herself by creating beautiful hairstyles and experimenting with hair care products. When Kim started her career as a third generation hair stylist, there weren’t a lot of hair care options for women of color. “I mean they had products out there but I just felt like they weren’t developed correctly. They didn’t have the quality of what some of the other lines had," she said. The need for higher quality hair care products became even more apparent when Kim began working with top notch clients and major celebrities. According to Kim, when actresses are filming on set they oftentimes need daily hair treatments that cause a lot of damage. At the time, products just weren't available that could really help.
Organically Creating a Unique BrandWhile Kim spent hours on end creating stunning hairstyles for singers, actresses, and other well known celebrities, she was able to create a unique brand for herself. And that’s tough for any small business owner. Big companies and major corporations produce most hair care products lines, and it's hard to compete with them, Kim said. When Kim first developed her brand, she wasn't thinking about the competition. The idea for a product line came from a need to keep her A-list clients happy. “It mainly all came out of necessity—it kind of always does really,” she said. “It came out of things we needed that were solution based, trying to solve an issue with a client and their hair.” After years of experimenting and perfecting her own “special sauce” she’s able to release her latest line to help women of color protect their hair against mechanical, chemical, and environmental stress. Her latest line of products includes a shine spray, repair serum, shampoo, conditioner, hair lotion, and a pudding cream. Even though Kim is able to release this line of products with confidence, the journey took years of trials and error. “You never really give up on your dream. This is not for the weak. Developing a product line is not for the weak. It’s for the strong. And it’s for people who really have a passion and believe in it and won’t give up,” she said.
Learn the Keys to SuccessIt's important for industry experts to take the impact of COVID-19 into consideration, when thinking about starting up a product line. Kim said that quality hair care products are in high demand right now. And that's because many people are styling their own hair at home. So, it may be a good idea to take advantage of some of that demand, she said. “I think these days a lot of people have what they call a side hustle or another business venture," she said. "Today it's pretty popular for entrepreneurs to have multiple sources of income coming in." Another piece of advice that Kim freely gives is to find a mentor to serve as a guide through the process of releasing a product line. Mentors are important because they can help you avoid a lot of headaches that come with this process, she said. “They can help you bypass some of those loopholes and ditches and keep you on the straight and narrow. So, I always recommend that. Because I too like to talk to people who are successful business owners, before starting a business venture,” she said.
For anyone who wants to start their own product line, marketing is another key factor. “There’s a formula you need to use to be successful at selling products. And it has a lot to do with marketing. Unfortunately success doesn’t always have to do with the product itself. It has a lot to do with how it’s marketed. And that’s what I’ve seen and what I’ve learned,” she said. Kim also says that any industry professional who is considering releasing a product line should hire the right team to help implement a successful financial strategy and hanle costs. Finally, Kim said that releasing a product line could cost as little as $20,000 or as much as $100,000. But in the beginning it’s best to start off small. Develop one or two products and then look into manufacturing, advertising, and pricing. Then go from there, she said. “It just really depends on what you’re trying to do. There’s no one specific magic number. But just know that you should have a little bit of money saved up, because there’s a lot of things you have to do,” she said.